Quitting Before 1 Year Mark

Hi everyone, wanted to get some advice and see if anyone has been in a similar situation. 

I started at an EB in July and am currently considering quitting altogether. I realized pretty quickly that I was not going to stay past one year but initially thought I would stay until August when bonuses hit. As dramatic as it sounds, I really do not feel like I can do it anymore. I've realized the money does not matter to me anymore and I am fine passing up the bonus if I can feel happy and like a normal person again. I would not quit before having a job secured but feel I could find a business ops / strategy role at a start-up within the next month. Has anyone quit prior to the one year mark? Did your new company cover the clawback on the signing bonus?

Thanks everyone. 

Comments (58)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 10, 2022 - 3:37pm

Overstate workload, take longer to finish takes, be less immediate when responding, push back on staffings anyway you can, etc

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 9, 2022 - 10:46pm

Fuck the noise get your freedom. People are making money in all kinds of ways these day doing jack shit don't limit yourself to another job. Best of luck.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 9, 2022 - 11:52pm

Exactly in the same shoes as you and started a forum/thread myself. I don't even recognize myself anymore just after 6/7 months. No money is worth this and I'm leaving asap so just know you're not alone. Ideally, I'd leave with another job secured but I might just leave by the end of next month latest, with or without a job secured.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 12:49am

OP here, glad to hear I am not the only one feeling this way. Agree 100% that I do not at all feel like myself and just want to feel like I have control of my life again.

What types of roles are you looking to? Have you already started applying / reaching out?

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 1:21am

I think this is a normal feeling of the experience sadly. I would encourage you to push through to the year mark. I get it really is pretty terrible, but a year of banking gives you props for life and sub a year makes it seem like you couldn't handle it. I was in this position and started looking and fortunately things improved the month after. In retrospect, it would have been a mistake leaving. It really is a miserable experience, but try to take a bunch of vacation or personal days and reevaluate after some rest. Alternatively, consider asking your firm for an unpaid break for mental health reasons and return after 2 weeks. I believe you should get out and I think you should start looking, but think timing it post 1 year makes a lot of sense from a personal development standpoint. You are already halfway there and once interns start the job gets easier.

Jan 10, 2022 - 9:56am

TBH I did not find the case prep that hard. I did ~5 cases before the interviews and read case in point. I will footnote this with the fact that I live with two MBB consultants, so they were able to give strong feedback that helped me improve a lot faster than I otherwise would have. Feel free to pm if you wanna chat. 

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 10, 2022 - 12:17pm

Truly the worst feeling described here and in the comments is not feeling like yourself anymore. 

I used to be funny, happy-go-lucky, could carry a conversation easily, had lots of interesting recent life experiences to share.

Then after I entered IB this past fall as a 1st year, anxiety set in for the first time in my life, and now I find it hard to hold a basic conversation

Lot's of small things and decreases in quality of life that I never experienced before in my entire life 

And I can't tell if this it simply is in the adult world or if I'm the only one who can't take it

I just really can't do it anymore. I need to quit, but I've been finding it hard to find a job that I'd actually enjoy next. I don't want to be unemployed either. It's a lot and I just feel like it's breaking me. Easy for me to say because I'm anon here but I'd never say this to anyone IRL. It makes me feel insanely weak. I wish I was more strong, mentally

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 12:30pm

Ditto on the holding a conversation point - same thing happened to me. Honestly believe that when I leave I will leave worse off in every way, besides the number in my bank account which I honestly don't care about anymore… lots more decently paying jobs out there and I'm willing to take a payout at this point to regain my life back.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 10, 2022 - 12:34pm

Only thing I'm scared of is how long it'll take for us to get back to normal/get our life back

Is it like riding a bicycle where we can just pick it up and find ourselves again? Or have we changed forever

The thing that made me worry the most about this was over the holidays - I took a week of vacation and thought I'd feel like myself again, even for just a bit, but something was still off about me the entire time 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 10, 2022 - 12:40pm

You are not alone at all. Especially the part about other more "chill" jobs also not being a fit. Who says you need a job at all? Many of us just chased finance but deep down want to be something so much bigger or different. There are so many paths and industries nowadays. Hell I want to work in the entertainment or music industry at this point even if it is crowded and saturated. There's a lot more to life than corporate life 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 13, 2022 - 7:41pm

I often think people underestimate how difficult the transition actually is from college into adult life (especially banking, one of the most demanding jobs...). You go from a low-risk, fun environment that allows for failure to an environment with significant responsibilities and zero margin of error. Covid has certainly exacerbated this difficult transaction because of a lack of connection / community... 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jan 10, 2022 - 12:41pm

As Someone in the same situatiom. You will come back pretty quickly after some time off. The things u are experiencing are mainly because of lack of sleep, you caring too much, and not enjoying the work enough. Leave ASAP

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 1:03pm

What type of role did you leave to? How was the recruiting process and how did you deal with any questioning about why you were leaving IB early?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 12:54pm

Really happy to hear I am not alone in feeling like this. How are you guys all feeling about leaving the bonus behind? That is definitely the hardest part for me. Although ~8 months really is not that long in the picture, it it pretty terrible to think about the fact that I might have to continue feeling like this for 8 months.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 10, 2022 - 1:09pm

I think I'm going to learn to let it go 

8 months is a pretty insane amount of time to continue feeling this way, I agree

But I'm also trying my hardest to try to come to accept the fact that if I can't find a better job, and that I do have to do this for another 8 months (1 year is my hard stop - I will quit post-bonus with or without a job in tow), that I'll probably look back on this year as the worst year of my life but nothing more than that. Just a really, really bad year. 

^ I try to tell myself this but saying it is harder than believing it deep inside

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 1:24pm

Staying in IB doesn't get any better. Seeing my VP and MDs being up at 1am was evident to me that you'll just make more money climbing the ladder but you still won't have your life. That's what helped me solidify and justify my reason for leaving.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 1:31pm

Just adding to the above-the not feeling like yourself really is a result of the anxiety of the job and lack of sleep. Once you leave or take a decent amount of time off, it comes back. I wouldn't be worried you did long term damage by entering this role or that anything is irreversible. Honestly, it only gets to that point if you stay in the role for 5+ years. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 10, 2022 - 1:43pm

Does anyone else feel really polarized about the job? Like when I have downtime or a moment to think about my experience from a high level, I'm proud of my experience and feel like it's been worth it for the amount I'm paid- like I've learned an incredible amount and the exposure I've got is really unique. On the other hand, anytime I'm actually working, I just hate it to no end. Deals don't feel like they're going anywhere and the amount of bullshit work generated on a whim is really discouraging.  

On a separate note, I'm also finding it difficult to tell if what I hate about banking is actually about banking or if it'd be the same with a 'normal' job. As this is most of our first jobs ever, I think it's really hard for me to tell if there are any jobs out there that I'd actually like or if it's turtles all the way down. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2022 - 1:48pm

Feel this all the time but that's what anchors you. Felt great that I learned a lot in a short time but I started thinking more openly and realized that I didn't enjoy the process at all. I typically enjoy reading and learning new things (this actually makes me happy) but when I'm being forced to not go at my own pace/leisure or having the decision on what to learn and when, really makes me unhappy which is why I don't think it's worth it

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 10, 2022 - 6:01pm

On a separate note, I'm also finding it difficult to tell if what I hate about banking is actually about banking or if it'd be the same with a 'normal' job. As this is most of our first jobs ever, I think it's really hard for me to tell if there are any jobs out there that I'd actually like or if it's turtles all the way down. 

I couldn't relate to this more. Just wasn't sure how to say it. I have a dark feeling that it's corporate life in general and honestly wouldn't be much different working 40 hours a week...maybe I'm wrong

Jan 12, 2022 - 4:51pm

i wouldn't discount working for a company in a corp strat/FP&A role. i did before and although i left, i worked for a company with an amazing culture and people, now work at a BB and it is much worse. when you have a great culture, you don't dread work/no sunday scaries (at least imo). hope you find a role you like at a great company!

Jan 10, 2022 - 4:07pm

I was in this exact position (at least sentiment) wise this time last year. Had a couple of really bad nights, and it just didn't get better despite "acknowledgment" of team issues. Associate blowing up my one and only vacation day since COVID started brought me to my wit's end. 

Ended up leaving shortly after bonuses in 2021. 

Message me if you want to connect / chat. Unfortunately these threads appear yearly and it seems to have only gotten worse in a virtual setting. 

Jan 10, 2022 - 5:05pm

If you can afford to quit, just quit. The market is so hot that recruiters and employers are starting to accept shorter stints in employment. Plus with COVID, nobody can really blame you if you become overwhelmed and need to prioritize your own health. You have the rest of your career to make up this bonus, and by quitting, you'll make sure that you're alive and healthy enough to do exactly that. Good luck. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 10, 2022 - 5:44pm

Think I'm going to try to stay until the bonus hits... in a way I think WFH makes it easier bc I have some separation. It sucks but I'm trying to distance myself as much as I can from it and remember it's just a job and only a year. I think I'd regret leaving without a) another job in line an b) bonus. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 10, 2022 - 6:03pm

While I agree, how long do you think this WFH will really last though? It's a pretty critical piece of this

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 10, 2022 - 8:14pm

Relate to a lot of the sentiments here and sort of a side-related question. How "comfortable" do you guys feel in your role so far? I see the third years being modeling wizzes and even second years just being very efficient with the small tasks and competent enough at anything thats more of a heavy lift. Then I see myself doing very basic tasks and either having some errors that need to be fixed or just nerves in general about sending stuff out. Am I supposed to be at the point where I just *get* how to do things yet and am I behind or is it normal?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 11, 2022 - 2:14am

Same here. Glad you brought it up because I felt like a dumbass and thinking I'll never get promoted at the rate I'm at. The second years seem so competent and I'm already 7 months into the job and almost a second year

Jan 11, 2022 - 3:11pm

To be fair, a lot of the 2nd years "getting it" is directly related to giving less of a fuck and losing the fear of sending documents.

Over time, you start to "get" what matters most to people so you make sure you don't fuck up one or two important things, and everything else ends up being a spot check. 

I was in awe when I was a first year and saw second years just CHURNING comments, no print/highlight bullshit, and doing a lightning fast alt tab page flip before saying fuck it and sending it. They knew it was 90% good so no need to waste another hour being meticulous. 

Jan 12, 2022 - 6:29am

Assuming you find a role as you've suggested, make sure they agree to buying out your clawback as you are liable for it and the bank can absolutely pursue action against you to get it.

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jan 12, 2022 - 4:27pm

Just stay the whole year. I felt the exact same way and started looking for jobs at the 6 month mark. I had a bunch of interviews but nothing I really wanted and stuck it out. Sent in my resignation the day my bonus hit and never looked back. Finding a job will take longer than you think, especially if you are trying to go corporate. Those processes can take weeks on end. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 12, 2022 - 5:04pm

You got an all-in first year IB salary joining Corp Dev after 1 year? Isn't that extremely high?

Jan 13, 2022 - 10:28am

Quisquam officiis error tenetur repellendus sint expedita accusamus. Voluptatibus quidem voluptatum autem doloribus. Reiciendis non incidunt repellendus libero ut fugit. Adipisci id doloremque libero id magni nisi commodi. Et numquam est vel non sint.

Magni unde assumenda deleniti. Harum non sed adipisci possimus sapiente voluptatem. Deleniti voluptatem expedita provident atque. Iure impedit possimus illum et tempora velit itaque veniam. Doloremque molestiae quis sit consequatur qui.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

January 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (6) $2,227
  • Vice President (24) $388
  • Associates (150) $242
  • 2nd Year Analyst (86) $155
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (15) $150
  • Intern/Summer Associate (65) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (297) $142
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (226) $90